For the second straight week, managed money, a proxy for large commodity investment firms, took on a larger collective net long position in live cattle futures, data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed.
The data was published in the weekly CFTC Commitments of Traders report Friday with data as of Tuesday, which also showed that hedgers had a larger collective net short cattle position than they had a week earlier.
FUNDS GET LONGER CATTLE
As of Tuesday, the collective net long cattle position for managed money stood at 48,075 contracts, up 4,377, or 10.0%, from 43,698 a week earlier. This took them to their largest net long position since Sep. 7 when it was 65,040 contracts.
Hedgers, known as commercial traders because they own, or will own, the cattle at some point, had a collective net short position Tuesday of 126,903 contracts, up 1,590, or 1.27%, from 125,313 a week earlier. It was their largest net short position since Sep. 14 when it was 130,449 contracts.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at their new long cattle position by adding 4,412 long positions, 35 short positions and 3,781 spread positions. This left them in control of 25.9% of total long open interest, 9.9% of total short open interest and 12.5% of total spread open interest.
Commercial traders reached their new short cattle position by liquidating 958 long positions and adding 632 short positions, leaving them in charge of 9.2% of total long open interest and 51.5% of total short open interest.
The CME Group said total live cattle open interest Tuesday was 300,568 contracts, up 7,763, or 2.65%, from 292,805 a week earlier.
CME Group data also showed that the most-active Feb contract declined in value in the week ended Tuesday, settling at $136.10 per cwt, compared with $136.70.
FUNDS BULLISH ON CORN
As of Tuesday, managed money had a collective net long corn position of 335,273 contracts, up 23,636, or 7.58%, from 311,637 a week earlier. It was their largest net long position since May 4 when it was 355,499 contracts.
Meanwhile, commercials had a net short position Tuesday of 591,869 contracts, up 18,523, or 3.23%, from 573,346 a week earlier, leaving them with their largest net short position since June 15 when it was 606,151.
The CFTC said managed money reached its new corn position by adding 21,867 long positions, covering 1,769 short positions and putting on 5,638 spread positions. This left them with 22.8% of total long open interest, 1.8% of total short open interest and 8.3% of total spread open interest.
Commercials liquidated 3,952 long positions and added 14,571 shorts.
CATTLE, BEEF RECAP
The USDA reported formula and contract base prices for live FOB steers and heifers last week ranged from $131.81 to $133.75 per cwt, compared with the previous week’s range of $129.52 to $132.00. FOB dressed steers and heifers went for $205.64 to $208.55 per cwt, versus $197.79 to $203.85.
The USDA choice cutout Friday was up $2.25 per cwt at $278.41, while select was up $0.67 at $263.83. The choice/select spread widened to $14.58 from $13.00 with 81 loads of fabricated product and 22 loads of trimmings and grinds sold into the spot market.
The USDA reported Friday that basis bids for corn from livestock feeding operations in the Southern Plains were unchanged at $1.30 to $1.40 a bushel over the Dec futures and for southwest Kansas were unchanged at $0.40 over Dec, which settled at $5.70 3/4 a bushel, down $0.02 1/4.
The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was $155.65 per cwt up $0.19. This compares with Friday’s Jan contract settlement of $160.92 per cwt, down $0.45.